NHL Power Rankings: Launching the 'John Gibson for MVP' campaign

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/5407/" data-ylk="slk:John Gibson">John Gibson</a> has been tremendous. (Getty)
John Gibson has been tremendous. (Getty)

Hey everyone, we here at Yahoo! Sports are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams, meaning you can’t tell me I’m wrong because these are my feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

31. New York Rangers (Last season: 24)

Okay so right off the bat I just have to say these are not going to be Power Feelings for the first few weeks of the season. Performance will be judged strictly by win-loss records, with a consideration for games played. If the records are tied, then the team with the better goal difference wins out. If those are tied, then the team with the better shot difference wins out. And if those are tied, then the team I personally think is better wins out. No one this week needed that final tiebreaker though.

So what I’m saying is: You are absolutely not allowed to bother me on Twitter or email to say “Why is (team I like or dislike) ranked (position they’re in)? That’s crazy!” It’s not actually crazy because it’s math. If you bother me like this, I will find you on Venmo and demand $15 from you. It’s the only way you’ll learn, and if you skim past this part, sorry but that’s on you.

Anyway the Rangers are awful and will be all year. I don’t mind this ranking for them at all right now. If you lose all three games you’ve played through Sunday, this is what you get.

30. Arizona Coyotes (LS: 29)

The Coyotes, too, it’s like, “Are they better than 30th?” Yeah probably. Are they gonna need to score more than zero goals to win? Yeah definitely.

29. Edmonton Oilers (LS: 23)

28. Detroit Red Wings (LS: 27)

27. Minnesota Wild (LS: 9)

I’m a little surprised to see Minnesota this low already but they gave up 82 shots in two games, so that explains a lot, for me.

26. St. Louis Blues (LS: 18)

25. Florida Panthers (LS: 16)

I thought this was a 100-point team coming into the season but Roberto Luongo is already hurt, so now maybe I’m less optimistic about that.

24. Pittsburgh Penguins (LS: 10)

Obviously I don’t think the Penguins are the 24th-best team in the league. They’re gonna be really good. But with that having been said, Matt Murray isn’t doing much to assuage the critics and skeptics. He gave up six in an overtime win (versus a Washington team playing the second night of a back-to-back) and five in a loss (to Montreal), which if you ask me is a lot for two games of work.

Look, the Pens finished 10th in the league by win percentage last season with Murray being a .907 goalie all year, so this is a team that has a lot of talent. And Murray might not ever live up to his first two seasons again, but he’s also not an .830 goalie. If he’s even passable (and .907 ain’t passable) this team is gonna be fine.

Whether they’d be happy with “fine” given the commitment they’ve made to the kid, well, I think we all know the answer there.

23. Boston Bruins (LS: 4)

22. Vegas Golden Knights (LS: 5)

It’s one of those things. I thought Vegas looked good in both games I saw but Fleury just didn’t show up for one of them, so here we are. And for the record, he was great the next time out in Minnesota.

As with last year, a lot of the Golden Knights’ success lives and dies with Fleury and we all have to get used to the idea that, even if they improved a lot this offseason (they for-sure did) the fact is we gotta get used to the idea that this isn’t probably gonna be a 107-point team.

21. Buffalo Sabres (LS: 31)

20. San Jose Sharks (LS: 11)

So the Sharks already have Erik Karlsson playing 28-plus minutes a night and Burns is the solid No. 2 at 25:26. And they’re still finding Justin Braun 17:50 a game somehow. Pretty wild. I bet that works out for them in the long run though. I’d bet a lot of money on it, in fact.

19. Columbus Blue Jackets (LS: 14)

18. Vancouver Canucks (LS: 26)

NO ONE THINKS THE CANUCKS ARE THE 18TH-BEST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE but they effectively split with the Flames in terms of both wins and goal difference in their two games so far, even if they got shelled.

We’ll talk more about Calgary in a minute because they really benefited a lot from playing a rotten team. These guys are awful but Elias Pettersson is certainly living up to the hype so far, with three goals and FIVE points in his first two NHL games.

You get the feeling no one’s gonna feel bad about the Hockey Night in Canada late games this year, even if Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton all stink. Which I kinda think they will. All three have someone who’s worth a few hours of your time.

17. New York Islanders (LS: 22)

NO ONE THINKS THE ISLANDERS ARE THE 17TH-BEST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE EITHER but they only got outshot by 20 in two games so technically they’re better than Vancouver. We’re gonna see a lot of mid-table teams here drop off hard in the next few weeks as results catch up with them.

16. Winnipeg Jets (LS: 2)

And yeah based on the results so far this feels maybe about right. The Jets didn’t have a great draw to start the year: At St. Louis and at Dallas. To split with those two teams isn’t great (and neither is giving up 77 shots in those games) but it’s about what you might expect even from a team this good.

The Central’s gonna be fun this year, eh?

15. Philadelphia Flyers (LS: 12)

14. Calgary Flames (LS: 20)

If Mike Smith could stop traffic I’d feel a lot better about this team. Their forward depth improved a decent amount this summer but the defense (slightly worse) and goaltending (still bad) are gonna cost them a lot of games this year. Which, hey, stop me if you heard that before.

13. Toronto Maple Leafs (LS: 7)

They’re 2-1-0 but don’t have a regulation win yet, and they’ve given up 13 goals in three games which is too many. But if you can score 13 in three games consistently — which seems to be very much in their wheelhouse — they’re gonna be rockin’ and rollin’ all year.

12. Ottawa Senators (LS: 30)

Hockey’s funny.

11. Los Angeles Kings (LS: 13)

10. Montreal Canadiens (LS: 28)

I love that I’ve already seen numerous, like, “Actually maybe they’ll be better than we all expected” takes already this year. Hockey rules. Great people cover it and they understand it so well.

9. Washington Capitals (LS: 6)

Quite the statement in the season opener but you wonder how much gas these guys are really gonna have in the tank as the season wears on. This is an old team — only six guys are under 26, but eight are 29 or older — and they just went through a long playoff. I’m not normally a Cup Hangover guy, and I’m not gonna make an Actual Hangover joke but if these guys end up ninth in the league by the end of the year that would probably be on the high side for me.

8. Chicago (LS: 25)

7. Carolina Hurricanes (LS: 21)

It’s gonna happen baby!!! This team is averaging 40.3 shots a game through three contests, scoring a lot, and allowing relatively few. Granted a lot of that comes because they pumped the Rangers on Sunday, and seventh is too high for them, but you gotta get your points somewhere.

6. Tampa Bay Lightning (LS: 3)

5. New Jersey Devils (LS: 15)

This ain’t gonna last.

4. Nashville Predators (LS: 1)

3. Dallas Stars (LS: 19)

You beat the Coyotes 3-0 and that’s not a particularly big deal. You beat the Jets 5-1, and that seems like it might be.

They honestly look pretty good in these games, too. You can see what a difference someone who doesn’t take the conservative approach to the sport makes for the offense in particular. So dynamic! So fun!

Just a suggestion, but you might wanna mix a few more Stars games into your viewing schedule this year.

2. Colorado Avalanche (LS: 17)

If Semyon Verlamov and keep up a .948 save percentage all year, I really like this team’s chances.

No but for real, these guys have looked pretty good (especially on special teams) through two games so far, and Minnesota and Philly aren’t exactly pushovers, so maybe they did take a step this offseason despite making no notable additions to the skater group.

1. Anaheim Ducks (LS: 8)

How about this one: The Ducks are 2-0 despite putting up 15 and then 20 shots in their first two games, and giving up 33 and 41. The “John Gibson for MVP” campaign begins now.

Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo! Sports columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)

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